Friendships with benefits? Examining the role of friendship in semi-structured interviews within music research

Raphael Nowak, Jo Haynes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

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This article explores the ‘methodology of friendship’ and its wider potential within music research. Drawing on two research examples that made use of ‘friendship’ in distinct fashions–one that explores music listening practices in everyday life and the other, music as a site for racialisation–the article discusses how friendship can be incorporated within semi-structured interviews. The case studies act as examples of how to negotiate alterity in music research and how friendship represents a potential for gathering more detailed data. The notion of ‘alterity’, at the core of research relationships is critical to shift the conversation to an informal tone and improve the depth of the discourses gathered from informants. Consequently, this article addresses debates within qualitative (music) sociology by reconsidering friendship as an axis of power and examines the nature of the data gathered in semi-structured interviews through the methodology of friendship.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-438
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Social Research Methodology
Issue number4
Early online date6 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2018



  • Alterity
  • insider knowledge
  • listening practices
  • methodology of friendship
  • sociology of music

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